Vigilante Diaries (2016) : Good production values let down slightly by a poor script

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Movie Review :Vigilante Diaries (2016)

Vigilante Diaries (2016) : Good production values let down slightly by a poor script

I had been looking somewhat forward to the Vigilante Diaries after reading some interviews with the writer and star Paul Sloan. His enthusiasm for the movie had me intrigued.

The first thing that stands out from the movie is the excellent technical quality of the film. The production values of the movie definitely make Vigilante Diaries stick out from the DTV crowd. The bullet and blood effects are, although digital, done well and give the action a bloody, gritty feel.

The film is also shot in a number of location's, which is not usually seen in a DTV action movie. They travel to Russia, Glasgow, London and others. I ma assuming that Sloan and Sesma done this with their own money, to give the film an international feel. Unfortunately a lot of these scenes are not required and drag the film out. Although it was nice to see places like Glasgow in an American action movie It seems they were used just because the actor/director had the opportunity to visit these places.

Sloan as the Vigilante of the title, equips himself well as the lead. I don't think he will ever be a leading man, but is great at action, and I will look at the rest of his career with interest. Michael Jai White also shows up in a limited role, but does get a chance to show off some moves. Rampage Jackson is also good, in what is actually quite a humorous role. Of the leads, the only bum note is Jason Mewes, who is cringe worthy in some scenes, and wouldn't have been missed if he was cut from the film altogether.

As mentioned before, Director Sesma does a great job with the technical aspects of the film, and the action scenes are great. Unfortunately the film should have been edited down. Although the movie only runs to 105 minutes, it feels much longer due to some unneeded scenes. I feel bad complaining about a DTV movie being over ambitious considering some of the garbage that currently floods the market. At least I can say that it is miles better than some of the recent Steven Segal films and their like.

I would definitely recommend Vigilante Diaries to action fans, and would have given it a higher score if it wasn't for a few elements which bring it down a bit. Hopefully with Sesma's next film he will get everything right.

This is a hard to rate movie. 

The actors, I liked a lot of them - and not just the Asian hotties, I'll have you know. I mean the main character is a muscleman with no charisma whatsoever, but there you got Michael Jai White, Jason "Jay" Mewes, Michael "sooo annoying" Madsen, even Danny Trejo and James Russo do some cameos. Add to this serious dudes like Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson and the entire Armenian cast, who did very well, and you got some cool people there with both acting and/or physical action handled.

The story is all over the place, from a vigilante that is called The Vigilante, but doesn't seem to do anything during the movie, to the Armenian mob, terrorist nuke attacks, data hackers with weird 3D air interfaces, getting the captured wife and son back, shadow men that manipulate everything, etc. The problem is the script. It just ... sucks! Nothing is connected, no characters are developed, things go from one place to another with absolutely no emotional impact. It made the whole thing confusing and boring.

Then there is the production values. Expensive cars, weapons, some decent CGI... but the action stinks! The action scenes feel like little kids made them: no tactics, no strategy, people walking in a line without cover, ridiculous fight scenes. You feel it even stronger when Michael Jai White starts moving and you realize how pathetic everything was before that. Jax rules!

Anyway, it was a decent effort, with enough resources to make at least a good film, and with a lot more possible. Unfortunately, it isn't a decent movie: it's barely a 6.

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